* Posts by Martin

787 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

Martin
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Re: Wrong

...that we can imagine being a bit like waves and/or particles in the macroscopic world.

It's a bit more than that. We can demonstrate that, under certain circumstances, they are behaving exactly the same as waves do, and we can demonstrate that, under other circumstances, they behave exactly the same way as particles do. It's nothing to do with imagination - we can clearly see the results.

But I agree, asking what "really" happens doesn't make much sense.

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Martin
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Re: Either... Or...

Actually, the double-slit experiment, which has been around for a very long time, demonstrates quite convincingly that light exhibits both particle and wave-like properties simultaneously.

Why? I can see that it clearly demonstrates that light exhibits wave-like properties. You can do a very similar experiment with a ripple tank and show the distinctive interference pattern of waves through a double-slit - and you can duplicate those interference patterns with light, very simply.

But how does the double-slit experiment demonstrate that light behaves like particles?

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Get yourself connected: GrovePi+ Starter Kit

Martin
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Happy

Re: @Florida 1920

What has happened to awaken all the Grammar Putins lately?

Awaken? We never sleep....

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Martin
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Headmaster

@future research - in a similar vane?

Vane - blade of a fan, or weathervane

Vein - layer of mineral ore in rock, or blood vessel - hence "in a similar vein" = "in the same sort of way"

You're so vain - Carly Simon

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Martin
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Facepalm

What I like....

...is the argument put forward, in all seriousness, that it's actually good for MPs to have other jobs apart from their own, as then they can get an idea of what the real world is like, rather than the little insular political world.

What I want to know is, where is this "real world" where people are paid £5000 a day, and can I join it?

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Martin
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FAIL

Re: Marconi was one of the BIGGEST FRAUDS in history !

Your statements may or may not be true. I do not have enough evidence either way.

But putting words in CAPITALS doesn't make them any more true.

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Acer: We're still a thing! We're still alive. And we are touting 300M shares

Martin
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WTF?

I've got two Acer Aspire Revo nettops and an Acer Chromebook. I don't think any of them are crap.

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

Martin
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Re: Fast cars?

Actually, the real problem about the E-Type was the length of the bonnet. I had a Series 1 roadster a few - quite a few! - years ago, and coming up to a T-junction at a country lane with high hedges was a bit exciting. I was sometimes tempted to stop, walk to the front of the car to look right and left and then scamper back again...

But driving up the motorway, and watching the reflection of the bridges run up the bonnet towards you - just gorgeous.

The F-type as reviewed? Meh. I've never seen the point of a hard-top sports car.

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Martin
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Re: If I was stupidly rich...

I'd buy something more practical for shopping and the school run. - that being a Bowler Wild Cat.

So what would you use to go off-road? A Challenger Tank?

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Update - Boffins: COMETS are like FRIED ICE CREAM. Mmm

Martin
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WTF?

Fairy floss?

Here in England, it was always called candy floss when I was a kid. Never heard of fairy floss.

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BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Martin
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Re: Squezebox

Mine too.

They've give us an mp3 stream which buffers repeatedly. Clearly they've completely underestimated just how many people out there are using this stuff.

Roberts radios are also affected, I believe.

Can you imagine the outcry if they'd switched off analogue delivery of TV with the same enthusiasm and speed?

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Smartphones don’t dumb you down, they DUMB you UP

Martin
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Re: GIF

A woman goes into a chemist and says to the pharmacist, "This Viagra; does it work?"

"Yes, it does."

"Can you get it over the counter?"

"I'd have to take six."

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TOTAL DARKNESS lasted 550 MILLION years until the first STARS LIT UP

Martin
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Headmaster

Re: @AC - Completely irrelevant Friday physics fact

Actually, completely inaccurate physics fact. Even if you could accelerate continuously at 1g, you would never reach light speed.

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Get off Twitter – and onto Google if you want to find TWITS and tweets

Martin
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FAIL

Oh, marvellous.

I was delighted when Twitter results stopped appearing on Google. The vast majority of times, they were just random noise generated by idiots.

For example, I was watching the Proms on TV one evening, when a singer came on to the stage for a performance. I didn't know much about her, so I Googled her name. The first three entries were tweets by people saying that she'd just come on stage.

Well, I needed an excuse to use DuckDuckGo more often. Now I've got one.

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NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

Martin
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Re: Speed limits in Canberra

In the UK various UK road safety groups are trying to get 20MPH speed zones - Something many UK police organisations say is unenforceable because of the accuracy of an average car speedo.

It may be unenforceable, but it still works. I live in a 20mph zone; it's enforced by signs and speed bumps. And it's noticeable that people drive more slowly round the street since the change. Given that there's a school on the street, that's no bad thing.

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Panicked teen hanged himself after receiving ransomware scam email

Martin
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FAIL

How to spoil a good comment.

Meanwhile, the bbc just locked up your gran for failiure to pay the license fee even though she doesnt own a tele.

It's an excellent comment, but completely undermined by this ridiculous piece of exaggeration at the end. I want to upvote you for the comment, but downvote you for this.

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Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Martin
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Happy

Re: Linux.

there needs to be a unified 'app store'...

And so there is on Mint. It's called the Software Manager.

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‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

Martin
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Happy

Re: Thank you.

A good opportunity to retell one of my favourite jokes.

A freelance Cobol programmer had made so much money by August 1999 fixing Y2K bugs, he decided to spend some of it. So he got himself cryogenically frozen, to be woken up in 2015, when, he hoped, any Y2K issues would be well fixed and the world would be a better place to live.

He work up...and looked round. He was in a hovering bed with robots looking after him. He was massively impressed by the level of the technology. Suddenly a voice spoke to him, saying "How are you feeling?"

"Fine" he said. "But I'm amazed by the technology you'd managed to get to by 2015".

"Ah" said the voice. "Actually, it's 2096, and we're a bit concerned about a possible Y2.1K bug. So we've woken you up as you're the only Cobol programmer we can find."

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DVRs at the ready tonight: El Reg's motor Vulture is on the tellybox

Martin
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Happy

And still renting it from Radio Rentals?

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Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Martin
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Happy

Re: A few downsides

If you were looking for the engine under the bonnet of a Tesla I think you would be perplexed too.

Reminds me of the VERY old joke about two little old ladies out for a drive in their VW Beetle. The car breaks down, and they get out and lift up the bonnet.

"Well!" says one old lady. "No wonder it doesn't work. Someone has stolen the engine!"

"Never mind" says the other old dear. "There's a spare one in the boot."

Though, of course, in the Tesla, there isn't a spare in the boot either.

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Facebook hackers work blue on Crayola coloring page

Martin
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Thumb Down

Re: B'wah ha ha ha ha ha haaahhhh

Hmm.

Of course, there is the alternative point of view - that this is pointless and peurile - on a par with spray-painting a willy on a poster advertising children's toys.

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NASA closing on fix for Opportunity rover's 'amnesia'

Martin
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Headmaster

Re: New OS huh?

...and THERE'S no Start button. Sigh.

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Hang on a second – Time Lords have added one to 2015

Martin
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Re: Push

Everyone, find your nearest East-facing wall, and give it a push.

That actually wouldn't work - as you push the wall eastward, your feet will push the world westwards.

Better for everyone to face East and take one step forward at the same time - that should do it!

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Martin
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To be fair, it's a tricky one to test. Unit testing is easy enough, but system testing? How do you set up a pre-production system and set it up to run the time with an extra second added?

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Hubble 'scope snaps ENORMO SPACE ERECTION: Pillars of Creation 20 years on

Martin
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Headmaster

First rule of corrections.

You'll make a mistake in your correction.

Cannon, not canon.

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Alien Earths are out there: Our home is not 'unique'

Martin
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FAIL

Re: I think your

Google nigel molesworth and al will become clere.

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FREE EBOOKS: Apple falls into line with EU refund laws

Martin
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Simple work-round?

Surely the simple solution is to allow a refund on the ebook so long as it has not been used. Once it's been opened by the ebook reader software, you can't get a refund (unless it's faulty, of course).

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Fill 'er up: 'Leccy car firm Tesla brings back PUMP SERVICE

Martin
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Re: Charge up at the supermarket

They've got that at our local Waitrose.

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Here's Johnny! Top Ten fantasy Blu-ray boxsets and special editions

Martin
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And am I alone in thinking that The Lost World has aged better than its celebrated forebear?

Yes.

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Sound and battery: 20 portable Bluetooth speakers

Martin
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Headmaster

Re: Grammar

Well, I can't actually see any misuse of "its" or "it's" in that article.

Just from the first page:-

The arrival of Bluetooth 4, with its reduced hunger for power... - correct!

Nearly 30cm long and just over a kilo in weight, it's not as easily portable as the others here - correct!

I can't be bothered to check all ten pages, but I think the writer has it right.

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Martin
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A little surprised you didn't mention this one...

bp2001

...as you gave it a nice review about three months ago. And it's cheaper than all of these and works pretty well.

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You have a 'SIMPLE QUESTION'? Well, the answer is NO

Martin
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FAIL

Re: The real answer

OK - you should assume nerds will check your working.

00110010 in binary is 50 in decimal. 42 is 00101010.

And typing it twice is either 50 50 or a largish number I can't be bothered to work out.

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So this Saudi Prince calls and asks why he can't watch movies ...

Martin
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Re: Computer stupidities...

Ahahahaaaaaa... you have a female boss...

I assume you're going for the record for the number of downvotes for a single comment. I think you've got an excellent chance of getting it.

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Apple knob refusenik Sir Jony Ive handed award - for talking BOLLOCKS

Martin
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Headmaster

Re: Rejected alternatives

Appendage.

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Sonos rattles begging bowl, hopes for $130m cash stream

Martin
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WTF?

Re: They could try adding Hi-Fi to the mix

Yes, the Connect box might well be excellent - but £279? Two hundred and seventy nine quid?

Which is why I still soldier on with my Squeezeboxen. Yes, they are looking a little old-fashioned now, and yes, they are not quite hassle-free to set up - but once they are working, they just keep working.

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ESA finds FOURTH comet touchdown for Philae lander

Martin
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FAIL

Daily Mail Science Tech?

An oxymoron if ever I heard one.

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Martin
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Re: Not the right way to promote IT among girls... but realistic, after all

Realistic?

I hate to break it to you, but Dilbert is not a documentary.

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Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

Martin
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FAIL

Re: No option?

"Spending two hours in the company of mindless idiots mouthing obscenities, in the cold and wet of a November evening"

Those mindless idiots are what makes a football match. If there were no fans physically at the game, there wouldn't be any atmosphere. It's like watching in a vacuum - utterly soulless.

And speaking as one of those mindless idiots - we SHOUT obscenities, not just mouth them :)

You go ahead and enjoy your game, with your beer, in front of your HD TV, pontificating about the finer points of the game. But if you've never actually been to a live match - you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

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Martin
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Happy

That's not quite fair

Top class professional football is to sport as a top class orchestra, opera company or rock band is to music. It's got top quality performances, thrills, disappointments, overpaid prima donnas - the lot.

WWE is to sport as X-Factor is to music.

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Kindle, meet my partner. Darling, play nice with Kindle, please

Martin
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Re: Xerox, anyone?

So I propose that you always get a paper book along with any ebook which has DRM.

Or alternatively, if you buy a real book, you get an automatic copy of the ebook.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Martin
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Happy

Re: The Bible

Further to my "citation needed". There seems to be no doubt that more bibles have been printed in the last hundred years than any other book - but that's not quite the same as "would win every year".

Snopes doesn't help, surprisingly.

But this is interesting.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/dec/20/bible-outsells-50-shades-of-grey

So in Norway, that year, the Bible was indeed one of the best sellers of the year. But please note that (a) it was a new translation and (b) it was still only in the top 15 books for 50 out of 52.

So five minutes of research convinces me that the Bible is not the huge bestseller people would like us to believe, and that there is little evidence for the statement that it is generally omitted from bestseller lists.

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Martin
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Re: The Bible

Note that the bible is not included in the bestseller lists as it would win every year.

Citation needed. How many people buy a bible each year, as opposed to schools or churches buying them in bulk?

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Rich techbro CEOs told to SLEEP ROUGH before slamming the poor

Martin
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Thumb Down

Re: New depths of stupid plumbed by ... the above

How much the CEO pays for his next Ferrari doesn't impact how much the cleaner pays for rice or gas. It just doesn't.

No, but how much the CEO pays to rent or buy his flat does encourage the prices to go sky-high, putting people who can't afford them onto the street.

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Consumers start feeling the love as Chromebook sales surge

Martin
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Re: Can we have figures that mean something?

"...not a cutdown and limited inferior product like Chrome."

Says someone who has clearly never used a Chromebook.

I think we can safely assume that Windows running on a similarly-spec'd box as a Chromebook will not boot within ten seconds from scratch. It might just crawl up to speed within a minute.

It will also require regular updates (which will take minutes at a time) to keep it secure, as opposed to regular automated Chromebook updates which taken literally seconds to run. Oh - and you'll have to run an anti-virus check on it all the time, which will make it run even more slowly.

It will barely be able to run Microsoft Office, and will not be able to run most games. Which is basically the same as a Chromebook.

So what was that about cutdown and limited?

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

Martin
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Re: hold on...

You don't learn to read by starting with D H Lawrence.

You don't learn to write with calligraphy pens.

You don't learn art by starting with oil paints.

You don't learn physics by starting with quantum mechanics.

You don't learn French by starting with Flaubert.

You shouldn't learn to program by starting with C or C#.

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Martin
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FAIL

Re: hold on...

But by your argument, we should only teach kids Excel and Word for office use, as that's what they're going to need. But that's completely wrong. We should teach kids how to use SOFTWARE - so they can use Microsoft Office 2007 or Office 2010 or Libre Office or Google Docs and not be phased because it's not exactly the same.

Similarly - we should teach kids to program - not teach them a specific programming language. Scratch, Pascal, Python - doesn't matter. Hell, I learned to program with Algol and switched soon after to Basic and then Fortran. And my first actual job was in Assembler. It's the principles of basic algorithms you're trying to teach ten-year-olds - not the details of object inheritance, polymorphism and operator overload.

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Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Martin
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Happy

A perfect example of Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

That is all.

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Martin
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Happy

Re: Pure H2O versus Flavoured drinks

When it rains I look outside...

I remember playing Atom Heart Mother on a pretty crap stereo system in the early seventies, with very ordinary speakers wall mounted either side of my bedroom window. There's a bit near the start when a motorbike starts up and goes from one side to the other and off into the distance. A friend of mine who was a motorbike enthusiast, and who hadn't heard the album before, ran to the window to look outside to see if he could spot the bike going past.

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It's a TAB-tastrophe – 83 million fewer units to ship in 2014

Martin
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I have a tablet...

...and a Chromebook sitting on the table at home. I always pick up the Chromebook rather than the tablet - instant on, has a keyboard and is just easier to use.

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Revenge smut bullies who send 'grossly offensive' messages WILL be prosecuted

Martin
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Because, at a guess, I'd say it's likely that 99% of all "revenge porn" is perpetrated by men against their female ex-partners. It is certainly true that 100% of all the instances I have ever heard of were perpetrated by men against their female ex-partners.

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